I could be good at hookup culture if I really wanted to be.
It’s not hard to toss clothes on the floor and pretend for one night. It’s not hard to only text someone when it’s convenient for you, or you’re hoping to get something from them. It’s not hard to be selfish and only look at these interactions to see how they benefit you. Those things can be pretty easy if you simply choose not to care, or if you can convince yourself that what you’re doing is something that is just easier for you both –that it’s something that helps you both.
I’ve always been the person who felt good in helping people and let me tell you that sometimes these people, these casual people, can make you feel like they do need you. They themselves might even believe they need you…for tonight. They live in the moment, and if I really wanted to, I could do the same.
I can convince myself that it’s enough. But tomorrow, it won’t be.
I could live off of the high I feel when someone tells me that I’m just what they need right now. That they were having a bad day, and that I made it better. That the way they feel in this moment is because of me. That I’m the best they’ve had and that I do things for them no one else does; I’m always one to give all my effort into something, even the temporary. It’s how I’m wired.
And on some days, I believe it wouldn’t even bother me that much. I could live my life like this if I wanted to, and I can tell you that sometimes, it seems like life would be easier if I did. It’s hard to date. It’s hard to sift through the crowds and figure out who wants real and who wants today. It’s hard to let yourself fall for someone only to watch them walk away. It’s hard to let a person become part of your life, to invest yourself in a person without even meaning to, only to realize they don’t return your affection. It’s incredibly, painfully hard. It would be simpler to just let people come and go, let them stay for tonight and make them leave tomorrow.
But that’s not what I want.
For better or worse, I don’t want to kick someone out the next morning. I want someone who actually wants to stick around the next day and spend it with me. I want someone who doesn’t look at me as something to help get them through temporarily, but who actually pictures what life would be like with me as a more permanent part. It’s harder to invest yourself into one person and want to stick out regardless of how difficult it might get. I don’t want to just be needed today by this person and tomorrow by that person. I want to be appreciated, I want to know that someone may not need me, but they absolutely want me, and they think their life is better with me in it. I want the joy and the intimacy it takes to learn about someone over time, not just over the weekend.
And though some days it seems like it would be easier to just blend into the chaos and casual flow of hookup culture, I know that I don’t just want tonight. I want a life.
And I won’t be satisfied until that is what I have.